liver enlargement diagnosis

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Yos mother

Post   » Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:09 pm

This is my first time on a forum site. My cavy's name is Yo. She is 2 years old and is an Abyssinian female. I took her to an exotic vet who xrayed her and diagnosed her with an enlarged liver. Gas in upper intestinal tract and cecum. I have added a handful of pine under her newspaper and straw for two years until this weekend when I found out it could have caused this. I am fearful that I have caused irreversable damage. My doctor has prescribed Critical Care only if she doesn't eat. She eats all the time but has lost a few ounces since last visit to vet on 8/28/06 so I am giving her 1/2 feeding tube Critical Care every hour starting today. Is there any hope for her recovery and anything I should be doing additionally?

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Post   » Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:23 pm

Was the pine kiln- dried. If it was, it's safe. If not, the phenols could have caused it, but it could have also been a number of other things.

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Post   » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:17 pm

We haven't run across a documented case of pine shavings causing problems (unless they're dusty).

A pig not eating may have other problems. Could be heart or teeth related. Do weigh daily and read about malocclusion in the guide.

Yos mother

Post   » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:24 pm

No, it was regular pine bedding from Hartz but I also used Aspen bedding. I am on disability and can only get to Walmart, so I used whatever they had.

My doctor has Yo on Metoclopramide Syrup 5 mg/5ml 3x per day since 8/1/06 and Trimethoprim Sulfa Susp 4mg/ml (.5oz) 2x per day since 8/28/06.
Yo has gone from 3 lb on 8/1/06 to 2lb 11 0z on 8/28. I think my scale is off from the vet's but I got 2 lbs 14 oz today. She seems perky but thin.

Will she survive or is enlarged liver always a fatal diagnosis?

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:21 pm

A lot depends on nursing care at home. Getting force-fed at least the required 50 mls of Critical Care per day with the Reglan will definitely help.

It also depends on the cause of the enlarged liver. Usually, a cause can be pinpointed. I wonder if bloodwork was considered? I really doubt the pine had anything to do with it. Diet maybe. If you had her on cedar ever, that can contribute. Any other contact with phenols? Cleaners like Lysol or PineSol are toxic phenols to animals.

Another possibility is a tumor in the liver. Usually, though, the liver is inflamed secondarily to another problem. All ill or anorexic pigs seem to have liver ezyme elevation and/or changes in the liver. I'm not discounting the fact it could be a primary liver problem, but in most cases, it is not. You need to get to the bottom of this to fix the liver issues.

Jaw x-rays to check out the health of the teeth should be considered. Cardiac (Heart) disease can also cause enlargement or distress of the liver due to the increased vascular load. The harder the heart has to pump, the more the other organs have to figure out how to compensate. One of my pigs had severe heart disease (pulmonary valve disease) and compromised liver function. Once we put him on heart meds and got that under control, his liver stuff calmed down. He was young at the time of diagnosis (1-2 years probably). He lived another 5 years on medication.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:24 pm

Oh, and to support liver function, I've used STANDARDIZED silymarin (milk thistle) extract in a glycerin base. An exotics guru told me they mix it 50/50 with B-lactulose (from your vet) and dose them. Of course, I found out with the one pig there was the cardiac disease to deal with and we fixed that also.

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Slug Whisperer

Post   » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:01 am

Jo, I take milk thistle to help my liver. I didn't know that you give it pigs. I'll keep this info handy, thanks.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:14 am

Yup. Dogs and cats, too. In fact, there are quite a few specialty veterinary products, but none are liquids. That makes it hard to dose pigs.

Yos mother

Post   » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:59 pm

I am the 'computer illiterate" with a baby with an enlarged liver. She is undergoing anesthesia to check her teeth in the morning. I am terrified, she's so TINY, little over two pounds!Many thanks to Josephine and the many others that responded to my first "whine"! Her name is "Yo", will let y'all know how she comes out. Yo's mother

You can quote me

Post   » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:45 pm

A little over two pounds is close to a kilo. That's not too bad for a guinea pig, especially a female. With good anaesthetic monitoring, she should be just fine.

Best to her tomorrow, and to you. Please let us know how she's doing.

Yos mother

Post   » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:58 pm

Yo is not a morning person. We had to get up at 3a.m. to be at the vet for appt. She did great and is now trying to catch up on her beauty sleep! Thanks for encouragement Talishan! I was scared to death She's my BABY! Yo' mother

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Fossil Barb

Post   » Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:19 pm

Hope you both got some rest. The stress and worry are exhausting. Don't feel bad about being technologically challenged. I too fit in the idiot category but everybody is so helpful. A little whining and sniveling helps too.

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